FNB Host Conference With Debt Counsellors
It is always nice to see co-operation between Debt Counsellors and credit providers. This brings benefits to consumers and the industry. This was evident this month when FNB invited Debt Counsellors to a one-day conference in Gauteng during March.
Seated in a relaxed fashion, Debt Counsellors were able to hear various presentations by key FNB Debt Review Centre staff including the department head: Athaly Khan. There was a good back and forth between those making presentations and those in attendance, allowing for a good exchange of viewpoints and ideas. Good communication between industry role players can greatly improve the process.
Several important issues were dealt with like, FNB splitting the overdrafts (included in debt review) from the normal transactional accounts (where fees then continue to accrue). There was a long discussion on this point with various constructive suggestions from those attending. Also discussed was why Debt Counsellors often might suggest to a consumer that they make a change to their month to month transactional account when they first enter debt review. The topic of money grabbing/off set was then thoroughly discussed. FNB are confident that this practice is not ongoing within the brand but there was some dissent from those attending. Athalay asked that any Debt Counsellors who ever come across this please let her know so it can be swiftly addressed should it occur, as FNB do not condone such actions.
‘Debt Counsellors raised concerns over members of FNB branches who refuse to cancel FNB debit orders’
Debit Order Issues
Debt Counsellors raised concerns over members of FNB branches who refuse to cancel FNB debit orders. The FNB Debt Review Centre told the audience that they had embarked on a massive drive to educate the 11 000 branch staff members about the process and would add this topic to the mix. Where debit orders which were in “pre-billing” (they are already loaded and waiting for cash to come into the account) it is basically impossible to stop the debit however, FNB agreed that these funds could be refunded to the consumer should that happen.
‘[FNB] had embarked on a massive drive to educate the 11 000 branch staff members about the process’
Those attending say they enjoyed the practical ‘ops’ level nature of the discussion and were happy they had attended (not just because of the delicious lunch).